Sam Moore: ... Now at first when the separation occurs, it can seem painful and uncertain, as those things familiar to you may need to be removed in order for God to get your attention. But when you begin to realise that you are going through a process of regeneration as opposed to degradation, then the isolation becomes perfect and ideal - i.e., splendid.
Tracey: I would describe the album as Gospel/Neo-Soul with the odd Jazz influence. Was this always your intention or how did you decide upon this blend of genres?
Sam Moore: From the outset, my intention was just to create something special Ė I wanted the type of music that would be characterised as great sounding but yet possessed the ability to touch someone or even positively affect their situation. Using this as a premise, the producers who I worked with are definitely masters of their craft and when we came together, the outcome of the collaboration is as you hear it. So I suppose that the heavy Neo Soul and Jazz influences are as a result of where we urban musical creators strive for some sense of classical excellence.
Tracey: The title track on your CD really showcases your natural vocal abilities. Did it take you long to co-write this particular track?
Sam Moore: Actually, this was one of the easiest tracks to write. When I write, Iím blessed to have the ability to hear both melody and lyric at the same time. I knew that I wanted something really stripped down and decidedly acoustic, almost folk. My co-writer Dawn Morris was of the same view and so the creative process was very easy.
Tracey: Tell me a bit about yourself and your childhood. You were born in Manchester, is that where you are still living and are any of your family musical?
Sam Moore: Well I grew up in inner city Manchester in the 80s, at the tail end of a large, church-attending, Jamaican family. My upbringing was quite modest, and although we didnít have much growing up, I was always a happy child, as our focus wasnít on what we didnít have but on what we did have which was an extensive network of family and friends through our church and community. I am now based in Birmingham, which is where my wifeís family hails from. My brother is a drummer whoís based in Manchester and I think thatís about it for the musical family bit!
Tracey: Name me one song, which you wish you had written.
Sam Moore: There isnít one really Ė Iím happy with what I create! ?
Tracey: Do you ever get nervous before any of your performances and if so do you do anything to calm those nerves?
Sam Moore: Iíve become much better on the nerves management front! I used to get quite nervous, but Iíve now become used to being up there in front of people. I still get slightly nervy about half an hour or so before I go on stage, but itís now a great feeling, as I acknowledge that when I go on stage to minister, Iím dependent on God to get me through the performance as opposed to me having the arrogant belief that I can do it all by myself.
Tracey: You have Jamaican origins. Have you been to Jamaica and do you still have family who live there?
Sam Moore: Yes Iíve been to Jamaica on a number of occasions and yes there are many members of my family that sill live there.
Tracey: You went to the US in 2004. What was the highlight of this visit for you?
Sam Moore: On a personal front, it was a great opportunity to showcase to the Americans what we in the UK have to offer and are capable of! But it was a real privilege to have the likes of Angela Bassett (who was in the congregation) hear me sing.
Tracey: What has been your biggest gig so far?
Sam Moore: This was at the West Angeles Cathedral in Los Angeles where in February 2004, I sang to a collective audience of around 8000 people.
Tracey: What are your feelings on the UK Gospel Industry today?
Sam Moore: I believe that the industry has a lot of talented people who possess the passion and vision to really take things forward. My view is that if we can continue to work together and kick down barriers then we can achieve something great.
Tracey: You serve God, through your music. How does God work in your life and what inspires you to keep your faith?
Sam Moore: I have a very active Christian life Ė one that involves me serving in my church on a local basis on the choir and on a national basis as a worship leader. My faith requires me to live a Ďcalled-outí life daily, which stems from a deep-rooted, true and honest love for God. Thus if you truly love someone, you want to honour them daily; this is how I keep my faith.
Tracey: You must have days where you feel God is not talking to you. Do these days make your faith stronger or is it a constant struggle to keep that faith, on a day-to-day basis?
Sam Moore: It is definitely a daily decision that one must take to live a Ďcalled-outí life.
Tracey: Are there any artists/producers who you would like to work with and if so who?
Sam Moore: This list is extensive and predominantly resides in the Gospel arena. But Iíd like to flip this on its head by inviting established artists and producers to come and collaborate with me once theyíve heard my music and what I can do.
Tracey: Name me a dish which you enjoy cooking?
Sam Moore: A traditional ĎJamaican Sunday Dinnerí - rice and peas and chicken - the works!!
Tracey: Gospel/worship music can be quite difficult to get the exposure it deserves in mainstream music. Does this worry you as an artist?
Sam Moore: Iím not worried by this prospect at all. My prime desire for my work is to spread the ĎGood Newsí story of Godís love. If I donít make a million along the way, so what? At least Iíll be happy doing what Iím doing.
Tracey: Do you have any plans to release your CD in the US at all?
Sam Moore: Well itís already on partial release in the US via CDBaby.com. As an independent artist with my own label, Moore Music, it is difficult to give a clear date when the album will be on wide and general release in the States, but this is something that I am definitely working towards.
Tracey: Will you be doing any gigs in the UK to help promote the release of your CD?
Sam Moore: Yes definitely. Dates will be communicated via my website www.sammooremusic.com and over the next few weeks, I will be promoting the CD via radio, satellite television and via both Internet and printed media.
Tracey: Apart from Gospel and Soul music, do you listen to any other particular music and if so what?
Sam Moore: Yeah I love listening to Classical music.
Tracey: What do you like doing to relax?
Sam Moore: Chilling out with good food and a good film with friends & family.
Tracey: Where are you hoping your career will take you in 2006?
Sam Moore: As far and as wide as the opportunities that my music presents. My album has been purchased by fans in Japan and the States already, so letís see what happens!
Tracey: On behalf of Just Soul, I thank you for completing this interview and wish you every success in the year ahead.